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Approximately 40 million Americans suffer from asthma. When Osman Cueto was five years old, he found out he was one of them. So, this past fall, when Cueto was asked to design a product that would help solve a real-world problem, it didn’t take long for him to come up with the idea for what he now calls “BREATHE: The Connected Inhaler.”

Read: Seniors from University's Inaugural Product Design Class Unveil Prototypes

The design includes a mobile application for smartphones that helps the user to learn more about their disease. The app also tracks where the inhaler is located, when and where the inhaler is used, how much medicine is left in it and when refills are needed.

Troy Hudson designed a product that treats a common ailment: a type of depression known as seasonal affective disorder or SAD. A popular treatment for this mood disorder is light therapy, which involves sitting in front of a light box that mimics outdoor light.

Another smartphone app, designed by Jingqia (Eric) Wang, seeks to help prevent sports injuries. Wang, a former athlete, suffered a career-ending injury which inspired the app. The app connects to a pair of sneakers equipped with motion trackers and force sensors that monitor the user’s movements and other data which are then analyzed by the app.

Megan Peaslee was inspired by her grandmother, who suffers from arthritis, to design a product that would help aging people read without pain. Her “Acute Reader” stand supports the weight of a book, as well as aiding in keeping the book open and turning the pages. The design has the potential to improve quality of life for aging people and return to them the joy of reading.

Nnaemeke Offodile’s project also addresses arthritis pain. The therapy bowl he created, which is intended for use by people with rheumatoid arthritis before and after tasks that are usually painful, mitigates pain through heat and cold. The product incorporates proven methods of arthritis treatments such as moist heat therapy, cold therapy, massaging and stretching.

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